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JD chooses fake firm to bid for steel plant?

JD chooses fake firm to bid for steel plant?

When former Joint Director of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)-turned-politician filed a bid for Expression of Interest for providing raw material and working capital requirement for Visakhapatnam, it surprised everybody.

For, Lakshminarayana is neither an industrialist nor an investor nor does he have any companies that are into steel or steel-making raw material production business. 

Yet, he claimed that he had submitted the bid in a sealed cover on behalf of a private firm and he can handle the operations of the steel plant efficiently in a span of five months’ time.

Lakshminarayana went on to say that he would raise funds for working capital through crowdfunding using digital platforms. If 8.5 crore Telugu people fund Rs 100 each month, then Rs 850 crore can be generated.

Likewise, if people contribute for four months, they would be able to meet the working capital requirement of the RINL, he said.

According to reports from the steel plant, Lakshminarayana participated in the bid on behalf of Venspra Impex, a firm based in Vijayawada.

This company, promoted by one Pothina Venkata Rama Rao, is supposed to be into production of precipitated silica, rice husk ash, zinc ash, calcinated powder etc, besides red chilli powder, dhania powder, turmeric powder and ragi powder.

One wonders how this company can supply raw material like coking coal or iron ore and for that matter, the working capital requirement of at least Rs 5,000 crore.

At a time when several big companies like JSW Steel Limited, Jindal Steel and Power Limited, Tata International Ltd and other international steel companies took part in the bidding, how the Vijayawada-based firm which has no experience or financial strength could withstand the competition.

The Visakhapatnam Steel Plant workers are now of the view that JD has roped in a non-serious company into the prestigious bidding only to fool them.

“Obviously, his idea is to gain some political mileage by appeasing the workers ahead of the next year’s general elections,” a trade union leader said.

They wonder how Lakshminarayana had offered to file the bid without even consulting the trade unions.

“We are not fools to believe that a small-time proprietary firm could bid for a huge company like Vizag Steel Plant,” the union leader said.


Tags: J D Lakshminarayana Vizag Steel